Remote sensing of landfills

postdoctoral research project
Basic Info


The main purpose of the project is to create a remote sensing methodology for detection and study of unknown landfill sites, basing it on the analyzed environmental effects of waste dumping, landfilling. The problem in Slovene karstic regions is that extensive amounts of buried waste remain hidden in the environment (sinkholes/dolines); their locations are unknown (many smaller landfills, many covered with vegetation, forest) and they threaten to contaminate ground water sources (karstic aquifers). The landfill sites can be determined using study of three landscape elements: terrain (landscape morphology), soil, and vegetation. The project will focus on karstic landscape types (for example, karst plateau, karst polje).

In collaboration with the partner company (Harphasea), the method will be made applicable also in private and in the public sector (providers of drinking water, municipalities). Such a reliable methodology of remote sensing of unknown landfill sites with such a short realization period is integral for creating GIS layers that will be included in the intervention geographic information system. The latter will enable a source of contamination to be detected and located in cases of sudden ground drinking water contamination. Since the need to develop this methodology arose in the company, it will be responsible for ensuring the latest and most accurate remote data required.  Satellite and aerial photographs will be used in conjunction with Lidar data (terrestrial laser scanning, which can depict 3D terrain and 3D vegetation separately), and geographic information systems; the results will be verified and complemented with field work (pyhtogeographic survey for determining indicator plants for individual waste type, soil sounding, electrical resistivity imaging/ERI etc.).

water sources
waste management
remote sensing